MYSTERY surrounds a strange haze seen over Coonarr yesterday that left a "talc-like" residue over the area.

Residents could still see remnants of the phenomenon that they described as a "massive red storm" this morning.

Carrie-Anne Fischer has lived in Coonarr for 27 years and said it was the very first time she had seen something so unusual.

"There is something terribly wrong," she told the NewsMail.

"It is the finest of sand, like talcum powder."

Ms Fischer said neighbours in the coastal community were baffled.

"Yesterday it was just incredible, you can feel grit over everything," she said.

"We've had droughts before and I've still never seen anything like this before."

Ms Fischer said she was deeply concerned for anyone suffering asthma.

"It was so fine," she said.

"It just covered everything, it was just on everything."

Coonarr residents were left baffled by the haze and residual dust left on
Coonarr residents were left baffled by the haze and residual dust left on "everything". Contributed

Sand mine theory

Ms Fischer said she wondered if it was something to do with the nearby Sunstate Sand mine.

The NewsMail understands the mine does not operate on weekends.

An inquiry has been made with the mine's Gladstone office.

Bureau of Meteorology's theory

Meteorologist Adam Blazak said there was no definite answer, and the bureau could only hazard a guess after viewing footage and photos of the event.

"Our guess would be raised dust from winds in the area, potentially from farming activities to the south west," he said.

"There could have been dust in the area yesterday from the blustery winds and this may have been increased if farming activities were also occurring nearby.

"There does look to be too much dust for one farming operation so that is why we think it may be from multiple sources.

"For fine red particulates to fall would most likely come from the kraznozem soils in the area, a fine red clay."

 

Coonarr residents were left baffled by the haze and residual dust left on
Coonarr residents were left baffled by the haze and residual dust left on "everything". Contributed

MP urges locals to report to the government

A spokeswoman for Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said they had some queries from concerned residents in the Coonarr area.

She said Mr Bennett had been advising locals who were concerned to contact the Pollution Hotline "who must take immediate action".

There is a Pollution Hotline based in Maryborough, who the spokeswoman said could deal with the issue very quickly.

"It's part of the Department of Environment and Science and their role is to investigate pollution events," she said.

"We're asking everyone to report the dust to the Pollution Hotline, as they will respond quickly. The phone number is 1300 130 372."

Mr Bennett is urging anyone with concerns to also ask others in the community to bring the matter to the attention of the Pollution Hotline.

Department of Environment and Science

The Department of Environment and Science has been contacted by the NewsMail regarding the cause of the haze and dust.